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RSS not influencing NDA govt

RSS not influencing NDA govt
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RSS not influencing NDA government, tanding tall at six feet, Muralidhar Rao, son of a farmer from Korapalli village in Karimnagar district, has made...

Interview of The Week

Standing tall at six feet, Muralidhar Rao, son of a farmer from Korapalli village in Karimnagar district, has made a remarkable rise by becoming national general secretary of the BJP in a short span. A post-graduate from Osmania University, he was active in student politics and became general secretary of the OU Arts College representing ABVP in 1986. The outlawed Maoists made an attempt on his life by firing at him from point blank range. After that, the ABVP deputed him to Rajasthan in 1987. His organising skills won him laurels of the then Chief Minister late Bhairon Singh Shekawat. The ABVP later moved him to Jammu and Kashmir in 1991, when there were pressing demands due to insurgency. He rallied the youth against fundamentalist forces, despite threats to his life from jihadists. He drew attention of the national leaders after he assisted RSS leaders Dattopant Thengadi, Madan Das and S Gurumurthy in floating Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a movement to protect the Indian rural economy against the onslaught of globalisation. In an exclusive interview with KMP Patnaik, Muralidhar Rao expresses his views on the functioning of the present NDA government with specific reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

RSS is known for devising the policy of the BJP on organisational matters, foreign policy and other major issues. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is a party icon, do you think the interference will be more?
It is unlikely. RSS is a social and cultural organisation with strong tenets of patriotism and discipline. It grooms youth into responsible citizens with a strong conviction to serve the country. In a democratic country every individual or organisation has a right to express views on various issues. We too form opinions on various national and international issues and it is up to the government to accept it or reject it. No sensible government will reject any good suggestion or opinion.

Prime Minister Modi launched ‘Make in India’ campaign and it drew the attention of the entire world. Do you think NRIs will invest in India without any ulterior motives? Won’t India become a dumping ground for toxic wastes?
Prime Minister was justified in making such appeal especially when the country’s economy is not in good shape. The progress on all front was very slow during the last 10 years rule of the UPA government and there was a huge gap in the export import scenario. The dea is to reduce unnecessary imports of goods which could be manufactured in India. Modi has drawn up a roadmap for improving the skills of the youth and educational standards so that in a few years, India will become a manufacturing hub. It is possible since we have the highest number of skilled persons in the world. The government will also insist on healthy and clean environment in the industrial premises. We have launched Swachh Bharat and at the same time cannot allow any foreign company to dump toxic wastes in the name of industry.

Pakistan seems to be in discomfort after Modi was elected the PM. Will there be a shift in the foreign policy vis-à-vis Pakistan. How firmly is the NDA dealing in the recent disturbances on the border?
A strong message was given to the Pakistan government that we have a decisive leader that has been missing in the last 10 years. The Pakistan government is fully aware of the cost of provoking India and has also realised how expensive it could be to foster terrorism. Pakistan has also become a suspect in the eyes of the civilised world and it is high time the government understood the ground realities and accepted the peace initiatives being offered by India. There will not be a third party intervention as agreed in the Simla Pact and all the issues will be discussed across the table.

When the nation was in urgent need of economic reforms, employment and controlling prices, why did Modi launch a social programme Swachh Bharat?
It is the biggest people’s programme since 1947. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted that the government should take a lead in such programme and involve people on a large scale. He wanted well-kown people to take part actively so that the concept reaches down the line to the grassroots. If everything goes well, India can achieve Swachh Bharat in five years.

Now, BJP is a partner in the AP government. Are you planning to make inroads into the south?
After Karnataka, the BJP has plans to strengthen the party in Telangana where we have strong roots from the beginning. We will organise party meetings in every nook and corner of the State until we find strong leaders at the lower rungs of the party. Narendra Modi’s recent visit was overwhelming and influenced the youth to a large extent. We will also begin spade work in Andhra Pradesh where we have four MLAs and two MPs now. We will become a formidable force both in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh by the next general elections.

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